Sunday, August 28, 2016

Birchbox - The Best Of K-Beauty Kit - Unboxing & Review!

With the recent changes to the Birchbox rewards system (basically, no more points for reviewing your samples), I knew that I would be unlikely to earn a significant amount of more points, so I decided to spend whatever I had left in one fell swoop.
Lucky for me, Birchbox has a Best Of K-Beauty value set that includes some pretty interesting items, including two products that Birchbox doesn't even carry (when I purchased this, they didn't carry three items, but it looks like Birchbox added it in the interim)!

I know K-Beauty is having a bit of a moment right now, but I genuinely love trying Asian beauty products because they tend to more innovative, adorable, and /or effective than other products.
Because the full price of this kit is $35, I was able to add a mystery sampler set and a deluxe freebie to my order. My sampler was a little weak this time; I've gotten the shower gel before and wasn't a fan of the scent and the makeup remover wipe feels like a foil packet sample. The Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream was the freebie I picked; I want to try as many Oribe products as possible.
The K-Beauty kit itself comes in a huge pillow pack! I think all the Birchbox discovery/value kits come in pillow packs, but this is one of the nicer ones; it has more interesting graphics and it seems sturdier--it didn't get all smashed up in shipping.
Again, like all Birchbox discovery kits, there is an info card with a blurb about the kit on the front...
...and product information on the back. I can't remember if my other Birchbox discovery kits including pricing information on these cards, but it is included on the ones in the monthly boxes, so I'm wondering if they left it off of this card since a few of the products aren't available from Birchbox. All the products in this kit are full sized, which I think is rare for these kits.
Going in the order of the card, the first product is the Peripera Wholly Deep Mascara in the Long Lash Lengthening formula. This is a product that Birchbox carries, and it comes in three different formulas including this one (the other two are for volume and curl). I don't know how the full size comes packaged, but I like that this mascara came in a clear, sealed bag; you know for sure that it wasn't tampered with. This is supposed to be like a fiber mascara, though a lot of the reviews say it doesn't really do much for length. I also wanted to note that there is a date printed on the package and tube itself, 2016.06.28. Korean cosmetics often put the manufacture date on their products instead of an expiration date (or they put both), but they will sometimes just put an expiration date; I had a hard time believing my mascara was that fresh, but I looked it up online and it looks like it is a manufacture date. Neat!
Next up is the TonyMoly Cristal Blusher in the color 03 Pleasure Peach. This is one of the most subdued TonyMoly products that I've seen packaging-wise, but the clear plastic is sturdy and looks sleek and clean.
This is one of the products that Birchbox doesn't carry, and it doesn't look like it's as readily available online as the other products in this box. Urban Outfitters used to carry it, but it's no longer available online, and the only I saw that carries it currently is Amazon (I'm sure there are independent retailers that carry this product, but I didn't see any on the first few pages of Google).
This is a matte blush in a warm peachy-pink color. It's not quite as orange in real life as it looks in my photos. This is a great, subtle color for my skin tone--it makes me look more awake without adding a lot of noticeable color.
Since it isn't a noticeable color on me, it doesn't show up very well swatched. But I assure you, if you have a light, neutral-warm skin tone, it's quite lovely in a 'je ne sais quoi' kind of way. It is a little dry since it's a matte, but it wasn't super powdery and it applied well. If you have a darker skin tone, you might be able to use this as a highlight, which would be equally as pretty!
This is a Berrisom Oops! My Triple Tint Balm in the color Pink, and it is probably the most interesting product in this kit. This is also the product that Birchbox did not carry when I initially purchased this kit but that they do now.
I already have some experience with Berrisom lip products and, I have to say, they make some unique products! At least to me; for all I know, they could be copying someone else... I have a few of the Berrisom lip tints that had a moment on Youtube recently (the gels that you let dry and then peel off to reveal a stain); I always assumed that they were one of the first brands to come up with the idea because they were the first I had seen (I purchased them before all the hype), but now there are a ton of different brands that do it, so I'm not sure.
Even the packaging for this balm was interesting; it's a triangular cardboard box that came sealed with a little sticker. The writing is entirely in English, which means the packaging was made with the intention of selling it overseas. The TonyMoly blush and Aqua Gel Mist are also entirely in English (though the TonyMoly blush might just have an extra sticker on top).
This balm comes in a thick clear plastic tube, similar to the plastic packaging of the the blush. It closes tightly, which is good for travel, and it twists down all the way; one of my pet peeves is when a lipstick doesn't twist down all the way and you have to be super careful when putting the cap on (and inevitably I end up marring the bullet anyways).
While the outer box is all in English, the balm itself is in Korean. Here you can see what I was talking about before with manufacture and expiration dates. This product has a manufacture date of 2016.06.07 (the Korean symbols after it mean 'manufacture date'), which is really close to the mascara; it makes me think these products were made specifically for Birchbox.
What makes this balm special, and what gives it the 'Triple Tint' name, is that it's made up of three different colors to give you a gradient lip effect in one swipe. This isn't the first multi-colored product I've seen, but it's the first one I've seen that's intended to give you a gradient/faded look instead of just a two-tone ombre.
You can see what I mean a bit better in my swatch; the color starts strong, but instead of turning into another color, it just fades away. This is one strong swipe so it's not well blended, but I think a few passes when applied to the lips will make the transitions softer. There are three colors of the product available, 01 Red, 02 Pink, and 03 Orange, but Birchbox only carries the first two.
Next is an Aqua Gel Mist from Too Cool For School. I really like TCFS because it's such a cheeky brand; it has the cute/different packaging like TonyMoly, but it feels a little more sassy/mature. Also they have a dinosaurs-in-the-city themed line. This is another product not available from Birchbox, though you can get it from Sephora (...online it says it's exclusive to Sephora, which is interesting).
All the writing on the bottle is in English; this product is made in Korea, but since it's distributed by TCFS USA, I'm assuming it was specifically made to sell here. I'm further convinced of this since on the bottom there is an expiration date (2017.11.17) instead of a manufacture date (and there are Korean symbols, but 'exp'). This is a hydrating mist that you can use throughout the day if your skin feels like it needs a pick-me-up; these mists are common among K-Beauty brands, but a lot of them have alcohol so I tend to avoid them. Happily, this mist is alcohol-free!
The final product in this kit is a Club Clio Gelpresso Waterproof Pencil Gel Liner in Golden Black. I believe Club Clio products have been available from Birchbox for a while now, and they're also the parent brand of Peripera.
This liner comes in quite a few different colors (15) and finishes (glitter, shimmer, and matte), but Birchbox only sells three and they're all glittery.
Golden Black is, as the name implies, a black matte liner with pieces of gold glitter.
It has a fairly standard gel pencil liner tip; unlike other pencils though, which are either sharpen-able or twist up, this pencil is a little bit of both!
You get this little sharpener in the bottom, though it's only to sharpen the product liner itself to a fine point, not to reveal more product, if that makes sense. You actually twist the bottom to push up more product; it's really the best of both worlds! You get to create the fine, precise points that you get with a sharpen-able liner, but you don't have to worry about wasting product by imperfect sharpening, the rough edges you can get if you wear it down too far, or shortening your pencil into a nub, which can make it harder to control.
This liner is very creamy and smooth; it didn't catch on my skin at all and it deposited a good amount of color. It's not the deepest black out there, but it still has good pigmentation and I like that the gold glitter is more on the subtle side. This liner is also supposed to be water-proof and smudge-proof and, while I did have to scrub to get it off my hand, I can't say how it preforms around the eye.

Overall, I think The Best Of K-Beauty kit from Birchbox is a great deal; you get five full sized K-Beauty products for $35 (less if you have points to spend). I also think this kit was curated well; each product has a different function (from eyes, to cheeks, to lips, to even skin care) and each is from a different brand (unless you consider Peripera and Club Clio the same brand) so you get a wide variety of things to experience.

Thanks for reading! <3

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